Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 31, 2006 18:53:14 GMT 12
69 years ago the Royal New Zealand Air Force was seperated from the New Zealand Army and became a stand alone military service.
At that time there were two main stations, Wigram and Hobsonville. There were very few permanent staff, and the aircraft they had were mostly old and obsolete (Vildebeestes, Grebes, Moths, Fairey IIIF, Avro 626's, etc).
However with the formation of the seperate service an expansion came, and not before time.
Soon they'd have Oxfords, Baffins, Gordons, Hinds and much more arriving, then the war would see the new stations and new types, thousands of men and women joining. What great days they were for the RNZAF.
In 1987 when the 50th Anniversary was held, there was so much said and written about how the RNZAF had grown to become a mature, potent service, etc, and it only looked good for the future. Then, they never envisaged the days of this decade with base closures, strike wing gone, work farmed off to civil contractors, etc.
I seriously wonder which times have been better for the service, obsolete biplanes and two bases, or obsolete turboprops and two bases... After all the progress from 1937 to 1987, I think the RNZAF is in much the same position now as it was 70 years ago. Sad, but true.
I think good times will come again for the RNZAF: but just how long the service has to wait for that to happen is anyone's guess. My hope is to see 75SQN flying 20 F-15E Eagles, 2SQN flying 20 JAS-39C Gripens, and 14SQN with 20 F-16D Fighting Falcons! ;D
If the new helicopters (NH-90s and whatever is chosen for training) come on line in decent numbers, that will be a good step forward for the RNZAF.
Basically, I think the RNZAF went downhill when they decided to get rid of the Corsairs! ;D ;D ;D ;D
I would like to see two strike squadrons comprising at least 14 aircraft each that couild be easily intergrated into the Australian defence force when emergencies arose...when and only in both countries interests..F35s or F22s are certainly of the shopping list...however some attack choppers for one squadron and some f16s/Gripens or even i dare say it f18s from Aus would be a start...two more c130s and the existing 34 skyhawks/aero macchis donated to the RAAF in return for a stable ANZAC attack squadron plus training! How on earth has it taken the NZ govt 6 years to realise that US state dept will not approve a sale (a4s imported nav/attack tecs)to a private training company...gee ..i firmly believe that this is their payback gesture for our two finger salute to them and to a degree Aus in terms of air strike regional contribution ability. OK lets consider this wishful thinking... with the money saved from axing three squadrons some years back you would think we would make substantial improvements in our air transport role with some additional airbus transports whatever and a substantial chopper squadron...NA! no chance
Defence & NZ History researcher, Flight Simulators, Foreign Affairs and model making interests